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Old 12-06-2012, 10:03 AM   #31
perdidobay
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My DD and DSIL just took a RCCL cruise that stopped at Falmouth.
They said they would never go back and they are truly world travelers who aren't rattled by much. They said the vendors were super aggressive, they tried asking your name then carving it into something and demanding money, hawking drugs, and their excursion to Dunn's River Falls was horrible-hundreds of people were made to hold hands with each other while taking one step forward every 30 seconds... she said it was like being in a human production line, not fun at all. They were warned about locals who would hit up tourists for photos of you on the falls, they would want the money up front, never to be seen again at the end. After the falls the excursion they took included tubing down the river, they passed some really scary areas, with locals sitting along the banks of the river looking at them like easy pickings. The photos they showed me of the excursion convinced me I'd never want to go there!

Also, reading Gambee's wonderful review on Cruisecritic, he warns Jamacia is dangerous for gays. Not that I am gay, but it's useful info to know for those that are.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:53 AM   #32
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My wife and I stopped there years ago on a RCL cruise. I vowed never to go back.... Certainly never take my kids.... Aggressive people, shady,always asking if we wanted "gonja". Everywhere we went. We went to a nice resort to use the pool.... My wife wanted to sit at the pool bar. I jumped out to get cash and jumped back in the pool. Holding it up so it won't get wet, the lifeguard blew his whistle.... He then waved me over, he saw my cash and said we need to talk!!! U need Gonja??????

Geeze!!!!! No, I am in my baiting suit, in the pool at a nice resort, No I don't .
We hoped in a cab back to the ship. On the way back the taxi driver decided he needed something from the liquor store... He pulled over .... There was a tough looking crowd hanging outside the store. I don't scare easily but we were nervous.....
I'd skip this port ------!!! 200% skip it !!!!
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:10 AM   #33
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Jamaica seems to be a place folks either love or dislike.

We've been there maybe 10 times in the past 15 yrs. All but one trip we've stayed in Negril, the other was on a Celebrity cruise with our then 6mth old daughter.

Yes, its a poor country with aggressive higglers, but we see that throughout the carribbean.

If you're expecting another St. Thomas/St. Martin experience then JA is probably not for you. JA is a place where you need to stop and let the place sink in and slow down for a few days, get with the vibe of the country. A 4hr or so cruise stop isn't going to do that.

My 2c.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:32 AM   #34
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So you have to ask yourself? What do you do? We've never been to Jamaica so for us it's more of a "okay, at least we've not been there". But I don't see any other options for summer cruises re Western itenerary. We have a cruise planned for March of 2014 that does NOT include the Jamaica stop which is cheaper due to time of year and the one in June with the Jamiaca stop. So it's depending on which time of year we eventually decide on. Again, if we cruise Western (as we're doing Eastern in Sept 13'), we have no choice of the Jamaica stop. It's not like we can choose the other itenerary that time of year.

So I guess the question is, do we get off or not? We are more interested in the Cayman stop as we've been to Mexico. Also, our DS will be 6 almost 7 so it's more islands under his belt.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:28 PM   #35
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I have been twice to Jamaica, both times staying at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay (very nice). Although we had a good time, neither my wife nor I fancy Jamaica. The resort specifically recommended that guests NOT leave the premises unescorted. Based on what we drove through on the short ride from the airport, there was no chance we would have done so even without the warning. Based on our experience, I am fairly certain that if we were on a cruise stop in Jamaica, we would likely enjoy a day on the ship, as I would not feel terribly comforable going on any kind of excursion.

Quick comment on Costa Maya. We recently returned from a Western on the Fantasy. We did a Bike-Kayak excursion in Costa Maya, and it could not have been better. Our guides Sergio and Edgar were wonderful, the bike ride back and forth from the port to Mahahual was fun, and the kayaking was great! We never felt the least bit threatened or uncomfortable in any way.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:14 PM   #36
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I think people are soooo tired of the Nassua stop, DCL thought they'd throw Jamaica in there. Our last cruise it seemed 90% of the people stayed on board.
Unfortunatley, Jamaica isn't any better as for the crime, dinginess,& pushy, in your face sellers. I think they will find people will tire very quickly of the Jamaica stop too. I know we will not be getting off at that port.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:03 PM   #37
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We've been to Jamaica twice, both on RCCL, once into Ocho Rios and once into "Mo" Bay. On the trip my DM was on with us, she did not get off the ship and kept our then (toddler) DS onboard with her. DH and I took ship sponsored excursions both times, and had a great time both times.

On one trip, we did a horseback ride with Chuka Blue that went through an old sugar plantation and along a beach. They then took the saddles off the horses and had us ride bareback (more or less) on the horses while the horses swam in the ocean. It was absolutely gorgeous, and a wonderful trip.

On the other trip, we went to a botanic garden and climbed Dunn's River Falls. Again, we were impressed with the beauty of the island, and had a wonderful time.

We were approached by vendors wanting to sell us things or braid my hair, and while they were the most aggressive of any port we've been to, we said, "no, thank you", and never had any issue.

We enjoyed our time there, and we would get off the ship if we happened to be there again, but we would go with a ship's sponsored excursion only and go straight back to the ship when we were done with it. We wandered around the port shopping area after one of our excursions, and we might do that again, but only in the the fenced area near the ship. We are comfortable going off on our own in most ports, but we would not do so in Jamaica.

I do not consider it a plus that DCL is going there, but I don't consider it a particular minus, either. It isn't a port I would go on a cruise to go on, now that we've climbed Dunn's River Falls, but I'd find ways to enjoy it if we happened to go there again. It really is a stunningly beautiful island. Yes, there is a lot of poverty there, but that is true in far too many places, sadly.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:37 PM   #38
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Vacationed at a Sandals resort in Mo Bay, would not have left the resort. There was a guy in a canoe paddling up and down the beach selling pot.

I totally understand how desperate you could be if you're trying to feed your kids, so I get why vendors or panhandlers could be aggressive, there is terrible poverty in Jamaica.

What I don't get is that there are these fancy resorts, an entirely new cruise port, and tons of port fees and tourist dollars going into this country, and no changes to anyone's quality of life as far as I can see. I'm genuinely curious as to why there's still so much crushing poverty with a good tourist industry and all the port fees being paid by these cruise ships, including the mega-ships from RCCL, as well as the tourist dollars being spent there. Is it just corruption? Who's pocketing all this money? I almost feel like I shouldn't sail here just so I don't perpetuate the problem. Someone's pockets are getting lined, and it's not the majority of the population.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:48 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manateesmom View Post
Vacationed at a Sandals resort in Mo Bay, would not have left the resort. There was a guy in a canoe paddling up and down the beach selling pot.

I totally understand how desperate you could be if you're trying to feed your kids, so I get why vendors or panhandlers could be aggressive, there is terrible poverty in Jamaica.

What I don't get is that there are these fancy resorts, an entirely new cruise port, and tons of port fees and tourist dollars going into this country, and no changes to anyone's quality of life as far as I can see. I'm genuinely curious as to why there's still so much crushing poverty with a good tourist industry and all the port fees being paid by these cruise ships, including the mega-ships from RCCL, as well as the tourist dollars being spent there. Is it just corruption? Who's pocketing all this money? I almost feel like I shouldn't sail here just so I don't perpetuate the problem. Someone's pockets are getting lined, and it's not the majority of the population.
Corruption would be my guess.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:07 PM   #40
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Jamaica is replacing Costa Maya on several cruises -- definitely an improvement.
I actually really liked Costa Maya. I saw a lot of poverty when we drove an hour to the ruins, but the area was beautiful and the people were so kind! I'm kind of sad Disney is stopping there less because Costa Maya has very little tourism to thrive off of.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:23 PM   #41
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ooooh manatees mom

i really liked what you wrote !!! and I totally agree !!
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:52 PM   #42
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Jamaica has offered perhaps the most memorable shore excursion we have ever experienced. We drove up into the mountains to a bird sanctuary where we hand fed hummingbirds and finches. We spent the most relaxing 90 minutes. It was pure heaven. I would go back in a heartbeat.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:19 PM   #43
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Ask yourself this, if it is SOOOOOOOOOOOO dangerous why are cuislines adding Jamaica as a stop or continuing to stop there????? It's not like the Mexican Riveria where only one ship is left doing the cruises.

We visited Falmouth last Spring Break on RCCL and booked an excursion from an outside vendor. I suppose if you take a gander outside and go into town to shop you will see things or encounter the aggressive sellers...

Do what you want to do, but frankly I was happy when they announced Jamaica is replacing Costa Maya. I can only take so much Mexico for one cruise.
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